Jackson Lake Lodge

Mt. Moran dominates the view from Jackson Lake Lodge

After our hike at Jenny Lake, we drove to Jackson Park Lodge, where we would be spending one night in the park. After the Motel 6 in Jackson, this was our splurge for the trip. We were staying in one of the many cottages that surround the main lodge building. The rooms were nice but it was the main lodge that was amazing. The lobby on the second floor had one wall that was all windows that looked out to a fantastic view of the whole Teton Range. Outside was a patio with the same incredible view.

We didn't get any pictures right away. The thunderclouds we had seen far to the west during our hike were over the mountains in the late afternoon. In fact, a little later, I got caught out when the storm arrived. Our hike for the next day started near the lodge and I had gone out to look for the trailhead. When the storm hit I had to take cover and was stuck at the nearby gas station for over half an hour while it poured rain. I managed to get back to our room during a lull but the storms continued for quite a while.

They do charge extra for ice in Wyoming

When the rain finally stopped we went to the lodge and had a drink in the bar before dinner. When the bill came we got a humorous surprise. Jimmy had ordered a whiskey on the rocks. Apparently they charged $1.75 extra for ice cubes in your drink. I guess it was a good thing that I didn't order a diet Coke. They probably would have charged us for the straw.

Later we went out on the patio. They had faux charcoal fire pits with a gas flame and we sat around one watching the sunset on the mountains. The fire was pleasantly warm as the evening got chilly. The red light from the setting sun shining on the clouds left from the thunderstorm made for quite a sight. The view from the lodge really was magnificent.

We came up with our plan for the next day. Shannon and Jimmy wanted to go for a horseback ride. I guess they were really getting into this whole out-west, Wyoming cowboy thing. There were rides from the lodge but they were fully booked. They were going to take the car and drive to a ranch outside the park that offered rides. Meanwhile Sandy and I could leave right from the lodge to do a hike to Grand View Point. It was only five and a half miles round trip so we figured we could get back in time to get cleaned up before our 11 am checkout. Just to be safe, Shannon and Jimmy would pack the car and leave their room key with us so we could check out for them if they didn't get back in time.

Sandy enjoys a coffee after our aborted hike

Sandy and I were up early and left at 6:30 am. Thanks to my scouting expedition in the rain, we knew exactly where the trail was. It was easy to follow although it was muddy from all the rain the previous afternoon. That was a nuisance. We walked about a half mile and hit - a trail closure for construction. The sign said to take an alternative trailhead that was further down the highway. We cut across the field to the road and walked for another half mile. At that point we gave up. We weren't sure exactly how far it was to the other trailhead and it wasn't fun walking along the road. Maybe not safe either.

I was annoyed with the Park Service over that one. They could just as easily have put the sign at the trailhead and saved us an hour of pointless walking. We could have taken our car to the other trailhead and still done a good hike. If I had seen Smokey the Bear that morning I would have given him a piece of my mind.

The Grand Teton rises above morning mist on Jackson Lake

After walking back to the lodge along the road, it was still early when we got back to our room. We took our time getting cleaned up and then had a leisurely breakfast in the lodge. Sandy is a breakfast person so that was an unexpected bonus for her. After that we went out on the patio behind the lodge. We took a short walk on a path that went up a hill next to the lodge. Sandy even took along her cup of coffee. We didn't get to GrandView Point or do a marathon hike but it is hard to imagine that the view would have been any better. So even though we didn't have much of a hike we still got to see a spectacular view of the mountains. I even got to spend extra time afterwards in the gift shop to pick out tshirts. Then we checked out and waited for Shannon and Jimmy.

They came zooming in right at eleven. They had really enjoyed their trail ride. It wasn't even noon and we had all had a busy day already. We piled in the car and headed north. It had been a fun day and a half in the Tetons. Now we were headed north to Yellowstone National Park.